Diffuser Vs Humidifier: Which One Do You Need?

humidifier vs diffuser

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Do you live in a dry climate? Do you have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions? If so, then the answer may not be as easy as it seems.

Humidifiers and diffusers can both help relieve symptoms and prevent discomfort associated with these ailments. But there are some significant differences between them that could lead to one being more appropriate for your needs than the other.

Read on to find out which might work best for you!

Humidifier vs. Diffuser – what is the difference?

The main difference between a diffuser and humidifier is that a humidifier adds humidity to the air and a diffuser does not. 

A diffuser is a device that disperses essential oils into the air to be carried throughout a room. Compared to a humidifier, an oil diffuser is not made to humidify the air.

A diffuser works by breaking down the essential oils into very fine particles, which are then carried into the air where they evaporate with no residue.


What is an oil diffuser?

An oil diffuser is a device that has been specifically created to disperse essential oils into the air. It can do this through either electric or heat diffusion processes.

Electric diffusers work by using electricity to power ultrasonic waves that cause metal discs to vibrate; these vibrations create tiny particles fine enough to suspend the oils in water, which is then dispersed into the air.

Heat diffusers work by heating a bowl of water to a high enough temperature, at which point it turns into steam and carries the essential oils with it; this warm mist is released into the air to surround you in its beneficial properties.

Diffusers are often used for aromatherapy to provide a nice scent to a room through many different essential oil combinations.

What can diffusers be used for?

There are many different things that an essential oil diffuser can be used for, and these range from relieving stress to improving sleep quality. Diffusing oils is a great way to make your entire home feel and smell wonderful and experience the benefits of aromatherapy.

They help promote relaxation by relieving stress and boosting moods. They purify the air by eliminating toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and tricholoroethylene, which often cause allergies or illnesses. Essential oils have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties which can help kill or prevent the spread of germs, viruses, and bacteria.

All of these benefits along with their warm and comforting glow make oil diffusers a great addition to any home.

Do diffusers work as humidifiers?

Yes, if you already have an oil diffuser and you’re just looking for some extra humidity in a room, running an essential oil diffuser without including any oils is perfectly fine. 

A diffuser will not run as long or put as much water in the air, but it can add enough humidity to small spaces.

Just fill your chosen container with enough liquid and turn it on. I think you’ll be pleased with what this little machine is capable of doing for those who don’t have access to regular humidifiers which are often bulky or somewhat more pricey.

diffuser vs humidifier

What is a humidifier?

A humidifier is a device that releases water vapor into the air. 

Not only can this help you relieve dry skin and a scratchy throat, but it also moisturizes wood furniture, amps up rainfall showers, and prevents that awkward moment when your mouth gets uncomfortably dry at the dentist’s office! 

Yes, there are lots of reasons you should have a humidifier in your life.

Humidifiers can help with common winter discomforts that result from home heating, such as dry skin and mucous membranes. In other words, when the air is that dry. it irritates our bodies. Having a humidifier will add much-needed moisture to the room or rooms.

Humidifiers also help relieve symptoms of allergies and asthma; when the air is dry, it can be difficult for sufferers to clear their sinuses and find relief.

Being able to control the humidity level in your home or office can prevent damage from occurring to belongings such as antique furniture, plants, or wooden instruments. Dried air causes wood to shrink and crack, so having a humidifier in the space can help keep the humidity level perfect for your items.

How do humidifiers work?

The way humidifiers work depends on what type of humidifier it is; there are three primary types: cool mist, warm mist, and ultrasonic.

Cool-mist humidifiers add moisture to the air by vaporizing water into a cooling fan that blows cold air back into the room. 

Warm-mist humidifiers heat up water until it boils and evaporates to heat the room. 

Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency vibrations to turn water into a cool mist.

Can you put essential oils in a humidifier?

You might be wondering whether you can use your humidifier as an oil diffuser by simply adding some essential oils to the water.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Humidifiers work by heating up water until it boils and changes into steam. 

This will cause your essential oils to lose their natural qualities.

Additionally, adding essential oils to your humidifier water tank can even damage your machine. So no, adding oils to your humidifier will not work.

Essential Oil Diffuser Vs Humidifier: Which one should I choose?

One of the best ways to decide which one is right for you is by determining what your primary goal is. If you are looking to add fragrance to a specific room, the diffuser will do the trick.

If you are seeking hydration in your space, either a humidifier or diffuser will be the perfect choice.

Of course, having both devices would allow you to enjoy the benefits of both products. However, there are some differences between the two that may help you determine which one will be best for your needs.

Diffusers are typically more expensive than humidifiers, but many people see them as an investment due to their overall durability and effectiveness. Diffusers also tend to be more compact than humidifiers.

Humidifiers are typically larger than diffusers and they require you to refill the tank regularly with water, whereas some diffusers work using mists of essential oils that may diffuse for days or weeks at a time. Additionally, some humidifiers produce noise while running, which can be distracting if you work in the same room as the machine.

If you can’t choose  – luckily you don’t have to. Now there are products that do both! 

Here are 3 great humidifiers with essential oil diffusers.

3 best humidifiers with essential oil diffusers

GENIANI Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser: Amazon Best Seller

Top Fill Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser 4L for Home, Baby, Bedroom, Large Room & Indoor...

GENIANI Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier is a 2-in-1 humidifier and essential oil diffuser that fills your room with cool mist while you relax.

This top fill humidifier features an automatic shut off when it reaches its desired humidity level, or you can choose to manually adjust the moisturizing speed by selecting a low, medium, or high setting. 

The smart mode will maintain a healthy humidity level automatically for up to 24 hours without having to constantly refill. When it’s time to clean, simply remove the lid and wipe down the empty tank with a wet cloth.

It’s perfect for bedrooms or baby nurseries as it keeps your bedroom hydrated all night long. At the 38dB noise level, it’s also as quiet as a ticking clock.

✅ Pros ❌ Cons
Very silentCould be too small for bigger rooms
Built-in humidity sensor
3 color options

Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier with Diffuser and Essential Oil Tray: The Best For Larger Rooms

50-Hour Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers for Bedroom (6L) - Quiet, Filterless Humidifiers for Large...
  • IMPROVED WELLNESS and COMFORT: Our ultrasonic...
  • LARGE 6L CAPACITY: Equipped with a 6L (1.6...
  • WHISPER QUIET: The large humidifier is nearly...
  • HIGH MIST OUTPUT: Adjust the cool mist...

The Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier is the ideal humidifier for your home, office, nursery, or dorm room. The ultrasonic humidifier features an essential oil tray that allows you to add up to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil, creating a pure and fresh aroma throughout your space.

With its large 1.6 gallon tank (6 liters), this humidifier can run for up to 50 hours on low setting, making it perfect for larger rooms like offices and nurseries.

It’s safe to use in baby rooms and bedrooms because it’s whisper-quiet (less than 30 DB) and automatically shuts off when out of water. Its ultrasonic technology also means there are no filters to replace. 

✅ Pros ❌ Cons
Large water tankEssential oil tray is quite small

Hupro Humidifier For Large Rooms With Essential Oil Diffuser: Highest-Quality Humidifier With Essential Oil Diffuser

Hupro PRO-771 Large Room Cool and Warm Mist Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser is a great tool to help you regulate the humidity level of your room or office.

It features three levels of humidification (Hi/Med/Low) and an adjustable humidistat from 30% to 85%. The auto shut-off feature will come in handy when the reservoir gets waterless, you take the tank off, or the set period of time is over. 

The 6L water tank is great for big rooms up to 500 sq. ft.

The humidifier will automatically detect the humidity level in your room and regulate the mist output accordingly. There’s also an LED display panel with a touch panel control which makes it easy to operate this device. 

✅ Pros ❌ Cons
Has both warm and cool mist optionsOn the pricier side
A lot of features – e.g. auto shut off, 3 humidity levels, timer, sleep mode, etc.

In Conclusion

We hope we were able to help you learn the difference between a humidifier and a diffuser, and  figure out which one is best for your needs. The best way to make a decision is by asking yourself what you need most in your home.

If you want it to be more humid, then the answer is pretty clear – go with a humidifier! 

But if you’re looking for something that will remove smells and create better air quality, then an essential oil diffuser might just do the trick. 

We hope that our advice has helped you decide!

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